Saturday, May 16, 2009

Movies Update May 16

Film Space schedule change!


Chiang Mai movies update, Saturday, May 16, 2009



by Thomas Ohlson



Film Space has changed its Saturday film, due to problems in getting Eric Bogosian's Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. The new film is Summer Time Machine Blues by Katsuyuki Motohiro, and there is a short description below.  


Second, Slumdog Millionaire opened at Vista, and so far only a few people have gone. I was surprised to note that as of 7 pm Thursday only 36 people had bought tickets. Really, you owe it to yourself to see this gem of a film on a big screen, where the sights of Mumbai can be fully appreciated, with a sound system that can do justice to its terrific sounds and music. I was at the second showing Thursday, and I can assure you, you haven’t really seen it until you’ve seen it on the big screen1



At Film Space Saturday, May 16, at 7 pmSummer Time Machine Blues / Samâ taimumashin burûsu / サマータイムマシンブルース (2005) by Katsuyuki Motohiro 107 mins – Japan, Comedy/ Sci-Fi.


A wacky sci-fi comedy written by Ueno Makoto (leader of Japan’s Europa Kikaku comedy troupe). The film features five members from the troupe as they play a bunch of geeks in a collegiate science fiction club, who just so happen t end up in an out of control time-travel adventure!


LoveHKfilm: A ragtag group of college kids get their hands on an honest-to-goodness time machine and end up wreaking havoc on the time-space continuum in quite possibly one of the funniest films ever made about time travel.


Filmmaker Katsuyuki Motohiro takes a breather from helming the mega-popular Bayside Shakedown series to direct 2005's Summer Time Machine Blues, a hilarious sci-fi comedy about the wacky complications that always seem to arise whenever time travel is involved. Based on a stage play by theatre troupe Europa Kikaku, this big screen adaptation revolves around five college geeks who all belong to the same college sci-fi club, although none of them seem to know the least bit about science fiction.

The film kicks off with the five club members playing a game of three-on-three baseball.A hilarious chain reaction causes one of them to accidentally spill Coke on the air conditioner's remote control. As a consequence, the remote malfunctions, as does the air conditioner! Immediately, the boys and girls find themselves sweating bullets in the sweltering summer heat. The sci-fi geeks rush to fix the remote and find a replacement fan the next day.


Out of nowhere, a time machine appears, complete with an equally geeky traveler from the future, who looks as if he's stepped out of the 1950s, not the year 2030 as he claims. As the boys come to grips with the fact that the device in front of them is an honest-to-goodness time machine, they decide to make good use of it. But instead of venturing into the distant past or the far-flung future, the boys have more practical aims, as they choose to go back in time to the previous day to bring back the AC remote control before it's ruined! It seems like a sound plan, but of course, what the kids don't realize is that any change made to the past will alter the very fabric of time-space continuum, and thereby blink them out of existence, a la Back to the Future! But each time the boys go back in time to fix things, they encounter mishap upon mishap, as they must correct their mistakes without coming in contact with their "past selves" and altering the past any further.

Half send-up, half homage, Summer Time Machine Blues is a matchless delight, as it gently pokes fun at the subgenre of time travel movies, while at the same time delivering probably one of the better sci-fi stories in the last few years. It's certainly the funniest. Although there are gags galore, the self-aware nature of the film's comedy is in full force during a scene in which the club members debate the issue of time travel. The local theatre manager, who also happens to be a Trekkie who bears more than a passing resemblance to Star Trek's Commander Riker, steps in to clarify matters, saying that time will basically fix itself and paint over the imperfections. This uninformed response is countered by Professor Kohtaro Hozumi, who also comes out of nowhere, to haul everyone to his classroom for a lengthy lecture on the dire consequences of time travel. The sci-fi club members' reactions are priceless.

The film is full of great comic bits like this, including some funny jokes that pay off later in the film. As a result of the situational time travel-centric humor, Summer Time Machine Blues is one film that merits a second viewing, as the viewer will begin focusing on the background details in later screenings, discovering events they didn't notice the first time around. Even better, with all its time travel complications, it's a movie that not only holds up to repeated viewings but actually stays true to its own internal logic. As a lighthearted farce, it had no obligation to "make sense," but the fact that it does - or at least acknowledges its own paradoxes for additional comic effect - make it an even smarter film, all the more worthy of acclaim. Of course, it's not just the crackerjack plot and the humor that work, but the actors involved as well. What's most refreshing about the actors is that, even though they are playing somewhat exaggerated characters, they all come across as actual friends, in no small part due to the fact that they are all intensely likeable, even though some of them aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.


IMDb viewer:I just watched this movie again, and I've officially upped my rating to a 9/10. Folks, if you like philosophy & logic, you've got to see this movie TWICE. I haven't thought this deeply about a story since I read my last Tolstoy novel. Truly a philosophical masterpiece disgused as a goofy comedy!

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